Bhaktivedanta Manor is a
Gaudiya Vaishnavatemple set in the Hertfordshirecountryside of Englandin the village of Aldenhamnear Watford. The Manor, as it is called by those familiar with it, is owned and run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, better known as ISKCONor "the Hare Krishnamovement". It is ISKCON's largest property in the UK, and one of the most frequently visited Radha- Krishnatemples in Europe. It stands in 70 acres of landscaped grounds consisting of lawns, flower gardens, a children's playground, an artificial lake that attracts many water fowl, and a substantial car-park.
Beatlesmusician George Harrisongave the Manor as an offering of devotion to the founder or the Hare Krishnamovement, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Harrison had a close relationship with Prabhupadaand met and stayed with him on several occasions. Prabhupada renamed the property Bhaktivedanta Manor: "Bhaktivedānta" is Sanskritfor " devotion- Vedanta", which could be taken as meaning "the culmination of knowledge about devotion" or similar.
Harrison said he envisaged the Manor would be "showplace for
Krishnaconsciousness"cite book |author=Lynne Gibson |title=Modern World Religions: Hinduism - Pupil Book Core (Modern World Religions) |publisher=Heinemann Educational Publishers |location=Oxford [England] |year=2002 |pages=p. 7 |isbn=0-435-33619-3 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=] and "A place where people could get a taste of the splendor of devotional service to the Supreme Lord." [cite book|last=Giuliano|first=Geoffrey|title=Dark Horse: The Life and Art of George Harrison|edition=rev. ed.|publisher=Da Capo Press|location=New York|year=1997|id=ISBN 0-306-80747-5]
* 12th century: The Abbot of
Westminstergranted land at Aldenhamto a Thomas Picot. [http://www2.hertsmere.gov.uk/democracy/Data/Bushey%20&%20Aldenham%20Planning%20Committee/19930309/Agenda/%5BBAP%209-3-93%5D%20Item%207%20Appendix%20A.txt]
* 13th century: The surrounding land was owned by Lord Picot, and thus the place was named Picot's Manor. [http://www.history.uk.com/listings/listing.php?iD=16402]
* 1884: A mock-
Tudor mansionwas built on the site, replacing a much older real Tudor building.
* 1920s: By now the name had changed to Piggott's Manor.
* 1957 to 1972: Piggott's Manor was used as a nurses' training college run by St Bart's Hospitals [http://www.rlhleagueofnurses.org.uk/Education/Progress_Index/Progress_16/Elaine_Law/elaine_law.html] .
* 1973: The Manor was donated to the Hare Krishna movement by George Harrison.
*1994: There was a famous campaign to keep the temple open against the wishes of local government involving a protest of some 36,000 people. [ See [http://www.krishnatemple.com/manor/campaign.shtm Manor Campaign] ]
A nearby road, which was earlier an unnamed track across a park, is now named Dharam Marg, which is
Hindifor "the way of truth".
Inside the temple
All activity at Bhaktivedanta Manor focuses around the temple room with its altar of carved wood and gilt containing three domed shrines. The first houses deity forms of
Radhaand Krishna, named "Radha Gokulananda". The second houses Gaura- Nitaideities, and the third, Sita, Rama, his brother Lakshmanand the popular Hindu monkey-god, Hanuman.
The rest of the property comprises a shop selling souveneirs and devotional paraphernalia, a bakery, a farm with working oxen, college facilities,
ashrams, a primary school, and a small theatre used for performances of the dramatic arts illustrating bhakti yogaand stories about Krishna. It is frequently used as a venue for Vaishnavareligious festivals, Hindu family gatherings, general open days and civil weddings.
Radha Krsna Temple
* [http://www.krishnatemple.com The official Bhaktivedanta Manor Homepage]
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